06/03/2011 – The last two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft return to the Korean Peninsula from Exercise COPE TIGER/Balikatan deployment on April 21, 2011. This occasion marks the first time that all A-10C model aircraft assigned to Osan AB ROK have been on the Korean Peninsula at the same time. The A-10C’s primary mission is to provide lethal, precision firepower in any potential close air support scenario.
Credit: 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs: 4/21/11
The A-10C is an enhanced version of the famous A-10A that served as a major close air support aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, and Reserves for almost 30 years. A-10C has been upgraded to meet 21 st century standards, using systems such as Multi-Function Color Displays (MFCD), GPS-guided weapons, and data-link support. Retaining all the features of older A-10A, the A-10C has turned into a true precision strike fighter with the most modern navigation systems, precision attack weapons (Maverick, JDAM, WCMD, and laser-guided bombs), and an integrated countermeasures system.
The A-10C has participated in operations over Iraq and Afghanistan and proved to be a precise and effective weapon in the “War on Terrorism”. Its advanced equipment has greatly reduced the number of “friendly fire” incidents – thanks largely to the Situational Awareness Datalink (SADL) and the ability to better identify targets with using the Litening II AT targeting pod.
The Precision Engagement modification is the largest single upgrade effort ever undertaken for the USA’s unique A-10 “Warthog” close air support aircraft fleet. While existing A/OA-10 aircraft continue to outperform technology-packed rivals on the battlefield, this set of upgrades is expected to make them more flexible, and help keep the aircraft current until the fleet’s planned phase-out in 2028.